How many Honda mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?
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04-03-2017, 12:43 AM
RE: How many Honda mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?
Q: How many auto mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Five - One to force it in with a hammer and four to go out for more bulbs.

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04-03-2017, 10:16 AM
RE: How many Honda mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?
(04-03-2017 12:30 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(04-03-2017 12:26 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  That's pretty much the same where I work. We price a job for what the book calls for. That's how good technicians make good money, if they can get a job done in shorter time than it calls for, they get paid for that job and get on to the next one.

It's also how technicians don't make money. If a job takes longer than it is quoted for, they only get paid that amount unless there are unforeseen circumstances in which case the customer is notified. It's a pretty fair system as far as I can see, a price for a job is agreed upon and then honored.

Most of the unfairness stemmed from the perception of favoritism with job allotment. Which service people gave the 'good' jobs to which technicians, and who got left out, which techs seemed to get more of the cushy jobs that let them bank more hours of work in less time. That sort of thing was always festering under the surface, and it bothered some more than others. Sometimes the downside of competition is the competition itself. Rolleyes

That's very true. The really hard thing as a service writer is trying to be fair with the work when you have a pretty diverse group of technicians as far as talent. Where I work each one has his specific areas that they excell at and trying to maximize fairness of the gravy jobs and also maximize the efficiency of getting work done is sometimes impossible.

You can't please everyone, that's for sure.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

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04-03-2017, 10:43 AM
RE: How many Honda mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?
I loved the flat rate manuals. I could do a complete front brake job on a 5000 series GMC truck- replace all the brake hardware, wheel cylinders, turn the drums and pack the bearings- in 45 minutes. Book says 3.2 hours. The toughest part of that job was having to use two people with cheater bars to break the lug nuts loose. The tire shop that company used had a 1" impact wrench and really socked those nuts on. I talked to them about that, because I could see where the nuts welded to the wheel in spots. That leads to stress failures later on.

BoT, I can see an hour and a half, if they had to pull the fender. That doesn't leave a lot for queue time.
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04-03-2017, 02:19 PM
RE: How many Honda mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?
(03-03-2017 10:50 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(03-03-2017 09:30 PM)Fireball Wrote:  There has to be something wrong with that system. Though I will say that the Toyota Corolla (2005) manual tells you to take the car to the dealer for a license plate light bulb replacement, as one can damage the car doing it untrained. I worked as a mechanic for many years, and repair my own vehicles (for the most part), and have never damaged one replacing a light bulb. Taking the fender off for a bulb replacement is over the top. It only cost you $5 for all that work!? SCORE!

While I was not a mechanic, I did work 5 years at one of the largest Honda dealerships in the US. While this might not be universal, our mechanics were paid a flat rate per job. The idea being that, for price consistency, all jobs are rated for X amount of hours. For example, an alignment job might be rated as an hour of labor; regardless of whether the technician gets it done in 20 minutes or an hour and twenty minutes. It helps make payroll a lot more predictable, and incentivizes the techs to get their work done faster. Of course it also causes a sort of gamification of the system, with techs quickly learning what jobs offer the best margins (more time paid for an easier job). Combine that with typical workplace politicking and gossip, and it can quickly devolve into something far less than ideal.

I don't know why it took an hour and a half. Did you watch them muck around with your car for that whole time? Because at my former dealership, if things were running behind, even a typically 'quick' job could be parked away on the lot for some time before a technician simply was available to handle it. Even a five minute job could take an hour to get to, depending on how fubar things where that day. Between the long wait and the low charge, I'm guessing that is the most likely culprit. Or else they ran into significant complications, but couldn't charge you for them because of the flat rate pricing; meaning that whichever technician serviced your car spent an hour and half and only got paid for 5 minutes of work.

I work at a dealership (not as a mechanic) and I know that there are a couple of models of Malibu & Equinox that you have to take the front fender off to change to headlights, the mechanic gets paid a little over an hour to do it . There is also at least one model of Cadillac that I know of where you have to take the front wheel off to get at the headlight!

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04-03-2017, 05:22 PM
RE: How many Honda mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?
Click and Clack (the Magliozzi brothers from NPR's Car Talk) had a favorite saying.....

"Whatever it is, it'll cost $200...... If that's what's it is.."

.......................................

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04-03-2017, 10:27 PM
RE: How many Honda mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?
(04-03-2017 10:16 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  That's very true. The really hard thing as a service writer is trying to be fair with the work when you have a pretty diverse group of technicians as far as talent. Where I work each one has his specific areas that they excell at and trying to maximize fairness of the gravy jobs and also maximize the efficiency of getting work done is sometimes impossible.

You can't please everyone, that's for sure.

That's the word I was looking for, 'service writer'. I was on a first name basis with all of them, because for my first few years there I was a service porter (a glorified go-fer). Eventually ended up as the evening manager for the Prep Shop. I got along well with all of the technicians too, but the sales people (with one exception) could all go fuck themselves. Hell, one of the techs even pro-bono balanced the carburetors on my 1986 Honda VF-700 Magna, a 700cc V-4 motorcycle with 4 synced carburetors. It was a little out of my depth with just a Clymer manual, but one of the techs (who himself owned an older CBR-600R) stayed after work one night to take care of it for me. As usual, the people on the ground are pretty decent; it's the out-of-touch people in management that typically need to get bent.

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04-03-2017, 10:59 PM
RE: How many Honda mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?
(04-03-2017 10:27 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  That's the word I was looking for, 'service writer'. I was on a first name basis with all of them, because for my first few years there I was a service porter (a glorified go-fer). Eventually ended up as the evening manager for the Prep Shop. I got along well with all of the technicians too, but the sales people (with one exception) could all go fuck themselves. Hell, one of the techs even pro-bono balanced the carburetors on my 1986 Honda VF-700 Magna, a 700cc V-4 motorcycle with 4 synced carburetors. It was a little out of my depth with just a Clymer manual, but one of the techs (who himself owned an older CBR-600R) stayed after work one night to take care of it for me. As usual, the people on the ground are pretty decent; it's the out-of-touch people in management that typically need to get bent.

True enough. We're a small dealership, so everything is much more cohesive than it could be in a larger operation, but what you're talking about still happens

The problem with being a service writer is that we take it from both ends, the customer who is pissed off that their car is broke and it will cost them out the ass to fix and are constantly calling to get their vehicle back, and from the technicians who don't give a fuck about the customer and would rather throw a wrench at you to quit pestering them about when they'll be done than just try to understand that I don't really give a rat's ass either, but I'm the face of customer service and need to have an answer.

More often than not the answer from the tech is, "The more you ask, the longer it will take".

Then I get to bullshit the customer and either get praise for it being done quickly, or eat shit because it doesn't. Every day is an adventure.

But the porters are the fucking glue of the business, they work their asses off (most of the time), and get little recognition. And I have to say, most of the techs are great guys, and will help you out when you need it, it's the business side of things that gets stupid.

And yeah, sales can go fuck themselves.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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04-03-2017, 11:42 PM
RE: How many Honda mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?
(04-03-2017 10:59 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  True enough. We're a small dealership, so everything is much more cohesive than it could be in a larger operation, but what you're talking about still happens

The problem with being a service writer is that we take it from both ends, the customer who is pissed off that their car is broke and it will cost them out the ass to fix and are constantly calling to get their vehicle back, and from the technicians who don't give a fuck about the customer and would rather throw a wrench at you to quit pestering them about when they'll be done than just try to understand that I don't really give a rat's ass either, but I'm the face of customer service and need to have an answer.

More often than not the answer from the tech is, "The more you ask, the longer it will take".

Then I get to bullshit the customer and either get praise for it being done quickly, or eat shit because it doesn't. Every day is an adventure.

Yeah, can't say it was ever a positioned I envied.


(04-03-2017 10:59 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  But the porters are the fucking glue of the business, they work their asses off (most of the time), and get little recognition. And I have to say, most of the techs are great guys, and will help you out when you need it, it's the business side of things that gets stupid.

Just about. Walkways covered in ice? Get a porter. Cars need snow brushed off? Get a porter. Need a dozen or more cars washed? Get a porter. Some VIP friend of the manager wants a ride home while their car is being worked on? Get a porter. Office ladies need someone to run a drop off to the bank? Get a porter. If literally anything breaks or goes wrong, and anyone else who could possibly take care of it is too expensive, you go and get a fuckin' porter.


(04-03-2017 10:59 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  And yeah, sales can go fuck themselves.

Hear, hear! Big Grin

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04-03-2017, 11:52 PM
RE: How many Honda mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?
(03-03-2017 04:58 PM)f stop Wrote:  How many Honda mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?

I don't know but it takes them an hour and a half. The right front fender has to be removed.Facepalm The light in question was the right front turn signal.

Cost $5. Outrageous!

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05-03-2017, 12:35 AM
RE: How many Honda mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?
(04-03-2017 11:42 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Yeah, can't say it was ever a positioned I envied.


Sometimes it feels like I've been forever dammed for trying to be a genuinely nice person, to both them and the customer. But it pays the bills, and I've found that if I can convey to the techs by my attitude that I don't give a fuck about their attitude then they'll suck it up and just get shit done.

Most of the time. The rest of the time it just sucks.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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